The potential delivery of Russian S-300s to Syria might complicate the majority of military options being considered by the U.S. and Israel for the Syrian conflict. However, for several reasons are there serial doubts whether the S-300 would be fully efficient in real combat conditions. Let us see why.
Serial reasons for serial doubts
- Military experts in the U.S. and Israel are familiar with the S-300 because their air forces have trained to suppress air defences armed with this system in Bulgaria, Slovakia and Greece.
- In the last decade, Israel was designing and arming itself with the ITALD system (Improved Tactical Air Launched Decoy), which is able to decoy radar as well as the S-300 command-and-control systems.
- Even armed with S-300s, Syria would not likely stop more advanced “stealth” aircraft, such as the U.S. Air Force’s F-22, F-35 and B-2, which are not visible on the system’s radar.
- The recent raids by the Israeli Air Force against selected targets in Syria suggest that it would be easy to destroy any S-300 batteries employed there.
- It is also clear that in case Russia is determined to deliver the S-300s, additional Russian advisors and experts would be needed.
- All these factors taken into account might work against Russia making a final decision to deliver the S-300s.
- Under the point of view of many analysts, the S-300 issue seems to be more of an element of disinformation used by Russia to strengthen its position vis-à-vis the West to deter military intervention in Syria.
- There are no doubts that if Russia delivers the S-300s to Syria in the face of U.S., NATO and Israel military engagement, there would be a real combat test of this system.